Author Topic: SSL Virtual Tape Machine  (Read 3035 times)


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    • Melbourne, Australia
    • Horizon Sound
SSL Virtual Tape Machine
« on: November 03, 2020, 01:15:08 AM »
Hi All,

I have had a number of requests for the details on the SSL Virtual Tape Machine, and would like to do so, on the basis that any development and improvements are openly shared with everyone. So far I have put in countless hours on the hardware and coding to get this working. Time I have had given that this year has not been otherwise non-productive on the recording front.

The main hardware part of this consists of an Atmel ATMEGA32, that picks up the machine commands from the SSL computer and console transport controls.
These commands are sent via a midi port as MMC to your DAW. MTC is read back from the DAW for display on the LCD. The LCD also shows frame rate, and transport status.
The SSL Virtual Tape outputs tach pulse data and direction data, either at normal speed, or 15x for fast wind. The SSL computer needs to be set to these parameters as your tape machine. See setting picture.
Timecode needs to be generated as a track on your DAW, and sent to the SSL computer timecode input.
Wind speed on your DAW needs to be set to 15x to match tach rate. I've tried going faster, but it becomes unstable.

Some things I want to improve / fix on this :
  Change LCD screen to  I2C rather than parallel data
  When hitting execute after "GoTo Mix" or New Mix, the transport does not start. You need to hit play on the SSL transport keys.
  Console transport LEDs are  common cathode, and need to be physically reversed to illuminate. The Otari I have connected, is common anode.

Code is uploaded in the forum file section.


SSL Virtual Tape on the right. SSL Status on the left.

Midi Breakout Board

« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 08:16:44 AM by horizonsound »